Confronting HIV Among Youth

March 8, 2012

It's heartening to see the professional journalists of tomorrow care about rising HIV infections among young people.

In this story -- written by Veronica J. Smith of the Medill News Service -- Chicago HIV experts and advocates talk about what's being done to address the alarming rise in HIV infections among young people. The story provides a solid overview of the issue, along with informative graphics and compelling video (above).


It features Dr. Lisa Henry-Reid, new board member for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC), Cynthia Tucker, AFC's director of prevention, and Evany Turk, an advocate with the Illinois Alliance for Sound AIDS Policy.The Medill News Service is the graduate journalism news service of Northwestern University.

So, watch the video above and read Smith's story below.

By Veronica J. Smith

A Chicago teen went to the emergency room for a sprained ankle recently and while he was there he agreed to take a free HIV test.

He tested HIV positive.

“It might have been years until he found out he was positive,” said Dr. Lisa Henry-Reid, chair of the Division of Adolescents and Young Medicine at John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital.

Reid said the clinic opens every Monday to HIV patients and those who want to get tested.

“We may see 15 to 26 youth on an average Monday, but yesterday for example we had 28 youth scheduled,” she said.

Between 2003 and 2009, the percentage of HIV infection diagnosis has increased 50 percent for ages 13 to 19 and 20 percent for 20 to 29, according to the fall 2011 Healthy Chicago Surveillance Report.

“I would say the increase is primarily because of unprotected sex more than it’s drugs,” said Lisa Razzano, associate professor of psychiatry at University of Illinois. “People thinking unprotected sex between a young man and a young woman, because it’s vaginal sex, is safe.”

Read the full story

Categorized under Inside Story.

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